Politics

FCT space council chairmen’s tenure ends 2026, says INEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, has clarified that the tenure of the elected chairmen and councillors within the six Area Councils within the Federal Capital Territory will come to an finish in June 2026.

Yakubu made the clarification throughout a gathering with the management of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, in Abuja on Friday.

The assembly was convened to offer readability on the tenure of the six space council chairmen and 62 councillors.

He famous that the fee had obtained quite a few inquiries from numerous stakeholders questioning the tenure based mostly on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, which initially offered for a three-year time period.

However, the INEC chairman clarified that the Electoral Act 2022, which got here into drive on February 25, 2022, extends the tenure to 4 years, aligning it with nationwide govt and legislative elections.

The new Act was efficient earlier than the present officers took their oaths of workplace on June 14, 2022, thereby setting their tenure to run out in June 2026.

“Nigerians are conscious that the National Assembly has since repealed and re-enacted the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) because the Electoral Act 2022. In explicit, within the train of its powers because the lawmaking physique for the FCT, the National Assembly prolonged the tenure of the Area Councils from three to 4 years, thereby aligning it with govt and legislative elections nationwide.

“This is among the essential provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. The Act got here into drive on Friday twenty fifth February 2022, two weeks after the final space council elections within the FCT.

“By the time the elected chairmen and councillors were sworn in four months later on 14th June 2022, they took their oath of allegiance and oath of office based on the new electoral Act (i.e. the Electoral Act 2022) which provides for a four-year tenure. Consequently, their tenure therefore expires in June 2026,” he defined.

He emphasised that the tenure is set by the date of the oath of workplace, not the date of election, citing a number of judicial authorities to help this interpretation.

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“For the avoidance of doubt, tenure will not be outlined by the date of election however by the date of the oath of workplace for govt elections or the date of inauguration for legislative homes.

“For the manager, the tenure belongs to the elected particular person whereas for legislators, the tenure belongs to the Legislature. A President/Vice President-elect, Governor/Deputy Governor-elect, Senator-elect, Member-elect, Chairman-elect or Councillor-elect can not train the powers of workplace and draw from the remuneration hooked up to it till such an individual is sworn in or the legislative home is inaugurated.

“To additional illustrate this place, the Commission has since launched the Timetable for the 2024 Edo and Ondo State Governorship elections. This doesn’t imply that whoever wins the election in Edo State in September or in Ondo State in November will instantly assume workplace.

“This will only take place after the administration of the oath of office upon the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent holders of the offices. Elections are only held earlier to a avoid vacuum. That is why the Constitution empowers the Commission to hold elections not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the end of the tenure of incumbent holders of elective offices,” he burdened.

The INEC chairman additional said, “Again, there are a number of judicial authorities, together with the judgment of the Supreme Court, that tenure begins from the date of oath of workplace and never the date of the election.

“The Law Firms which have written INEC on behalf of their purchasers must have drawn their consideration to each the regulation and judicial pronouncements on the matter.

“You might also want to word that when the Electoral Act 2022 was signed into regulation two weeks after the fee carried out the final Area Council elections within the FCT, the incumbent holders (Chairmen and Councillors) challenged us that we carried out the election too early, claiming that the brand new Electoral Act prolonged their tenure from three to 4 years.

“We reminded them that they took their oath of office under the old law before the coming into force of the new Electoral Act. Therefore, their tenure will expire in June 2022,.”

He reassured all that INEC was dedicated to upholding the regulation and would launch the timetable and schedule of actions for the subsequent Area Council elections by the required 360-day discover earlier than the election date.

Yakubu urged all aspirants and political events to stick to the authorized provisions and judicial pronouncements concerning tenure and reassured the general public of INEC’s dedication to sustaining the integrity and stability of FCT elections.

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